Album Review – Nihility / Beyond Human Concepts (2022)

Exploring the definition of nihilism as a philosophy and a way of life, this ruthless Portuguese horde will darken your mind with the Blackened Death Metal found in their sophomore opus.

Forged in the fires of Paços de Ferreira, a city in the Porto District in the north of Portugal, in 2012, Nihility are a four-piece Blackened Death Metal band heavily influenced by the roots of Death and Black Metal, exploring the definition of nihilism as a philosophy and a way of life, passing through the many different ways of nihilism, how it’s understood and adjusts to everyday life and society as a whole. Following their 2019 debut opus Thus Spoke The Antichrist, the band comprised of Mário Ferreira on vocals, Renato Barbosa on the guitars, Miguel Seewald on bass and Luís Moreira on drums has just released their sophomore effort, entitled Beyond Human Concepts, a top-notch album that hopefully will catapult these Portuguese youngsters into the forefront of the European Death Metal scene. Produced, mixed and mastered by Pedro Mendes at Ultrasound Studios Braga, and displaying a Stygian artwork by Credo Quia Absurdum, Beyond Human Concepts is an album of sheer brutality that will please fans of bands the likes of Behemoth, Vader, Morbid Angel, Decapitated and Vomitory, among others, representing an infernal step forward in the band’s career.

Renato ignites the band’s devilish machine with his riffage in the opening tune Martydom for the Herd, being gradually accompanied by Miguel’s bass and Luís’ drums in an infernal display of Black and Death Metal. And Mário continues to vociferate like a demonic entity in Hubris, with Luís crushing his drums in great fashion. Put differently, it’s a fulminating fusion of Blackened Death Metal with D-Beat Crust elements, whereas Destroy the Shackles of Prejudice is even more devastating than its predecessors, with Renato being on fire with his wicked riffs supported by the kitchen from hell by Miguel and Luís, not to mention how evil Mário sounds once again on vocals. Then after such high level of destruction get ready for two and a half minutes of insanity in the form of extreme music in Human Stupidity, a song that’s absolutely perfect for slamming into the pit while Mário vomits the song’s putrid words.

Conflicting Vanities is ideal for banging your head like a true metal maniac thanks to the visceral beats by Luís in another brutal display of Blackened Death Metal by the quartet that lives up to the legacy of the genre, and there’s no time to breathe as those Portuguese metallers keep delivering sheer dementia and obscurity in Will to Power, with Luís stealing the spotlight with his venomous drums. The Religious Dogma is another demented explosion of Blackened Death Metal made in Portugal where Mário roars and barks rabidly, accompanied by the slashing and rumbling sounds blasted by the band’s stringed duo, whereas the title-track Beyond Human Concepts brings to our avid ears an extreme music extravaganza where all band members showcase their dexterity and passion for heavy music, keeping the album blazing brightly. And last but not least, it’s time for Sea of Thoughts, a sinister outro that puts a proper end to the album (albeit not as vile as the other songs).

You can enjoy such devilish album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, follow Nihility on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about the band, and above all that, grab your copy of Beyond Human Concepts from the band’s own BandCamp page, and from the Vicious Instinct Records’ BandCamp page or webstore (or click HERE for all locations where you can buy or stream the album). In other words, go numb and let your mind go black, let your soul be engulfed and captured by the void, then let this be the vessel for all your pent-up aggression and rage, for this is Nihility and this is the void.

Best moments of the album: Destroy the Shackles of Prejudice, Human Stupidity and The Religious Dogma.

Worst moments of the album: Sea of Thoughts.

Released in 2022 Vicious Instinct Records

Track listing
1. Martydom for the Herd 3:28
2. Hubris 3:04
3. Destroy the Shackles of Prejudice 3:25
4. Human Stupidity 2:28
5. Conflicting Vanities 4:16
6. Will to Power 2:40
7. The Religious Dogma 3:21
8. Beyond Human Concepts 4:33
9. Sea of Thoughts 2:10

Band members
Mário Ferreira – vocals
Renato Barbosa – guitars, backing vocals
Miguel Seewald – bass
Luís Moreira – drums

The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2021

“I wanted to play drums because I fell in love with the glitter and the lights, but it wasn’t about adulation. It was being up there playing.” – Charlie Watts

And there goes another year without a single metal concert in Canada. Another year full of uncertainties, fears, polarization, restrictions, and everything else we “love” so much. I honestly don’t know what to say about 2021 apart form the fact it was undoubtedly much better than 2020, but that means nothing considering the total nightmare that 2020 was. We lost a lot of huge names in the rock and metal scene such as Joey Jordison, Dusty Hill, Mike Howe, Johnny Solinger, Marsha Zazula, Alexi Laiho, John Hinch, John Lawton, Charlie Watts and Hank Von Hell, among many others. Tons of festivals including Download, Wacken Open Air, Hellfest, Bloodstock Open Air, Sweden Rock Festival and Dynamo MetalFest were scheduled to return this year after the 2020 editions of those festivals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately Sweden Rock, Hellfest, Download and Wacken Open Air were once again cancelled. With that said, why do we metalheads still believe in a better future? Is it because, despite all adversities, our favorite bands released some of their best albums from the past few years?

Hence, as new lockdowns are being imposed upon us in a never-ending pandemic loop, there’s not much we can do but enjoy The Headbanging Moose’s Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2021, excluding EP’s, best of’s and live albums, keeping us sane until this madness is finally over. Or maybe I should say if it will be over one day, of course. There’s a bit of everything for all types of fans, from classic Heavy Metal to the brutality of Death Metal, from the modern nuances of Melodic Death Metal to old school Thrash Metal, and so on, and in my humble opinions one of the most interesting facts about several albums launched in 2021 is their duration, with many of those surpassing the one hour barrier such as Senjutsu, Helloween, Persona Non Grata, Existence Is Futile and Blood on Blood, not to mention the over four hours of music from the Lordiversity boxset, which for me proves how much the bands responsible for those albums love their fans by offering them a lot of new music to enjoy during such difficult times. I would say that even if there are ZERO metal albums launched in 2022, we’ll still have a lot of great music to enjoy throughout the year thanks to all the amazing records released in 2021, don’t you agree?

1. Iron Maiden – Senjutsu (REVIEW)
Behold another masterpiece by the one and only Iron Maiden with its 82 minutes of tactics, strategy, war, resilience and determination.
Best song of the album: Hell on Earth

2. Helloween – Helloween (REVIEW)
A dream come true for all generations of “Happy, Happy Helloween” fans from all over the world.
Best song of the album: Skyfall

3. Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon (REVIEW)
It’s time to join Trivium in the court of the dragon to the sound of their magnificent new opus.
Best song of the album: Like a Sword Over Damocles

4. Exodus – Persona Non Grata (REVIEW)
Don’t be a “persona non grata” in the world of heavy music and get into the circle pit to the sound of this newborn thrashing beast.
Best song of the album: Lunatic-Liar-Lord

5. Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined (REVIEW)
State of the art Death Metal played with passion and breathless precision by the most violent and unrelenting band of all time.
Best song of the album: Surround, Kill, Devour

6. 1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet (REVIEW)
Ukraine’s own doom infantry is back into the battlefield with another masterpiece, telling the gruesome tales of World War I.
Best song of the album: Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines)

7. Motorjesus – Hellbreaker (REVIEW)
Let’s drive through the fires of hell together with one of the best bands from the German rock and metal scene.
Best song of the album: Hellbreaker

8. Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos (REVIEW)
A deadly and thrashing lesson in perpetual chaos by four metalheads hailing from Brazil, Italy, Spain and Greece
Best song of the album: Time to Fight

9. Gojira – Fortitude (REVIEW)
Let’s all face up the world to the sound of the new masterpiece by one of the most dynamic bands of the current metal scene.
Best song of the album: Amazonia

10. Blaze Bayley – War Within Me (REVIEW)
The man who will live for a thousand years is back, inspiring us all to fight the war within us and to take our future in our own hands.
Best song of the album: Pull Yourself Up

And here we have the runner-ups, completing the top 20 for the year:

11. Running Wild – Blood on Blood (REVIEW)
12. Lordi – Lordiversity (REVIEW)
13. Cradle of Filth – Existence Is Futile (REVIEW)
14. Diabolizer – Khalkedonian Death (REVIEW)
15. Angelus Apatrida – Angelus Apatrida (REVIEW)
16. Moonspell – Hermitage (REVIEW)
17. Lutharo – Hiraeth (REVIEW)
18. Unflesh – Inhumation (REVIEW)
19. Scarlet Aura – Genesis of Time (REVIEW)
20. Coiled Around Thy Spine – From The Ashes (REVIEW)

In addition to all that, let’s bang our heads with our Top 10 EP’s of 2021 to prove once and for all that not all great albums of the year have to be so long. The EP’s from this list are simply awesome, showcasing the band’s talent and their ability to sound epic even if the music lasts for only a few minutes.

1. Eonian – The Nomad (REVIEW)
2. Lady Beast – Omens (REVIEW)
3. The Agonist – Days Before the World Wept (REVIEW)
4. Tantivy – Eyes in the Night (REVIEW)
5. Grale – AGITACIÓN (REVIEW)
6. Bouquet of Dead Crows – Hemispheres Part 2: Cerebral (REVIEW)
7. Kadavereich – Radiance Of Doom (REVIEW)
8. Wolvencrown – A Shadow Of What Once Was (REVIEW)
9. Juliet Ruin – Dark Water (REVIEW)
10. Black Hole Deity – Lair Of Xenolich (REVIEW)

Do you agree with our list? What are your top 10 albums of 2021? Also, don’t forget to tune in every Tuesday at 10pm BRT on Rádio Coringão to enjoy the best of classic and underground metal with Jorge Diaz and his Timão Metal, and every Thursday at 8pm UTC+2 on Midnight Madness Metal e-Radio for the best of underground metal with The Headbanging Moose Show! And if you lost some or most of our special editions of The Headbanging Moose Show, including our Top 20 Underground Albums of 2021 – Parts I and II, go to our Mixcloud page and there you have hours and hours of the best of the independent scene, sounds good?

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2022!

And before I go, I’ll leave you with some touching words by Mr. Lordi and his crew of monsters…

Something something blah blah to you
All the sincere wishes come true
I put vengeance on my wish list
And that’s what Santa brought
So have a merry something and a happy blah blah blah

Album Review – Obscura Qalma / Apotheosis (2021)

Exploring human existence in an epistemological solipsistic view, the debut album by this Stygian Italian horde is a lecture in epic and dark Death Metal that exists in its own philosophically inspired realm.

Formed in 2018 in Venice, Italy from connections built in their local scene while performing within their prior projects, the unrelenting Blackened/Symphonic Death Metal horde known as Obscura Qalma have just released their debut full-length opus, entitled Apotheosis, the follow-up to their 2019 EP From the Sheol to the Apeiron. Mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio and displaying a sinister artwork by Mexican artist Néstor Ávalos (Black Arts), Apotheosis (or “to deify” from Greek) explores human existence in an epistemological solipsistic view inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, as well as by contemporary figures such as Massimo Recalcati and James Owen Weatherall, while musically speaking the inspiration comes from bands the likes of Dissection, Emperor and Death as well as by classical music and film composers such as Alexandre Desplat, showcasing all the talent and passion for dark music by vocalist and guitarist Sirius (Necrosy, Supremacy), guitarist Sartorius (As Memory Dies), bassist Theo (From the Shores), and drummer Res (Supremacy).

The cinematic and absolutely epic intro Demise Of The Sun sets the stage for Obscura Qalma to crush our souls in Impure Black Enlightenment, a lecture in Symphonic Black Metal with Res smashing his drums manically accompanied by the wicked riffage by Sirius and Sartorius, all spiced up by an imposing atmosphere and the demonic growls by Sirius. Then keeping the ambience as dark and sulfurous as possible the quartet blasts the venomous Gemini, with Theo and his rumbling bass adding a touch of aggressiveness to the overall result, not to mention how infernal the drums sound once again; and their onrush of obscurity goes on in The Forbidden Pantheon, another epic, massive Blackened Death Metal extravaganza led by the hellish vociferations by Sirius, sounding old school but at the same time offering the listener a fresh and modern twist. There’s no time to breathe as the quartet keeps decimating our souls in Transcending The Sefirot, with Res sounding like a three-headed beast behind his drums supported by the whimsical riffs and solos by Sirius and Sartorius.

It can’t get any more symphonic than in Paradise Lost, a dense, multi-layered creation by Obscura Qalma showcasing their trademark fusion of classic Death and Black Metal with movie-inspired scores and wicked sounds, and you better get ready to have your neck broken in half to the sound of Fleshbound, a pulverizing Blackened Death Metal tune where their riffs, bass lines and pounding beats will hammer your head mercilessly until the very last second. Never tired of bringing forward their passion and admiration for the dark side of music, it’s time for Sirius to roar in anger in The Telemachus Complex, a beautiful composition that will leave you completely disoriented, with Res taking the lead with his intricate and furious beats, whereas not a single moment of peace is offered to us all in Imperial Cult, with its background elements creating an interesting paradox with the savagery crafted by all band members. Lastly, we’re treated to Awaken A Shrine To Oblivion, starting in a more alternative and futuristic manner and evolving into their usual sound, albeit not as compelling as its predecessors.

You can enjoy all the obscurity and fury of Apotheosis by streaming the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to show your utmost support to those talented Italian metallers you should purchase the album from their BandCamp page or Big Cartel, from the Rising Nemesis Records’ BandCamp page or Big Cartel, or simply click HERE for different places where you can buy or stream the album. In addition to all that, don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news and tour dates, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their wicked music. “From the nihilistic foundations of European culture and epistemological solipsism to astrophysics and psychoanalysis, Apotheosis dwells on the limits of human knowledge and the impassable boundaries of its own existence,” commented the band about their newborn spawn, creating epic and dark Death Metal that exists in its own philosophically inspired realm and, therefore, paving a promising path ahead of the band in the coming years.

Best moments of the album: Impure Black Enlightenment, Paradise Lost and The Telemachus Complex.

Worst moments of the album: Awaken A Shrine To Oblivion.

Released in 2021 Rising Nemesis Records

Track listing
1. Demise Of The Sun 1:24
2. Impure Black Enlightenment 4:07
3. Gemini 5:17
4. The Forbidden Pantheon 5:01
5. Transcending The Sefirot 4:33
6. Paradise Lost 6:23
7. Fleshbound 4:01
8. The Telemachus Complex 5:28
9. Imperial Cult 4:28
10. Awaken A Shrine To Oblivion 5:57

Band members
Sirius – vocals, guitar
Sartorius – guitar
Theo – bass, backing vocals
Res – drums, additional percussion

Album Review – 1914 / Where Fear and Weapons Meet (2021)

Ukraine’s own doom infantry is back into the battlefield with another masterpiece, telling the gruesome tales of World War I, its soldiers’ fate, their death, fear and feats to be never forgotten.

Lviv, Ukraine-based Blackened Death/Doom Metal offensive 1914 continues to reflect the gruesome tales of World War I, its soldiers’ fate, their death, fear and feats to be never forgotten, unleashing upon humanity their superb new opus entitled Where Fear and Weapons Meet, comprised of eleven tracks of pure historic harshness following up to the band’s sophomore album The Blind Leading the Blind and their debut effort Eschatology of War. Unlike their previous works, Where Fear and Weapons Meet is not about death, but about life, as most of the heroes and protagonists in the songs survived war, became heroes and finally returned home, with even the album cover emphasizing this by depicting an injured, shell-shocked and bleeding sole survivor of a shield attack holding his hand out to death, praying in agony, but death does not take him away. Furthermore, the album begins in Serbia and continues on the first track from the prospective of Gavrilo Princip, who assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo and caused the outbreak of World War I, all masterfully embraced by the massive fusion of sludge, death and doom sounds crafted by vocalist Ditmar Kumarberg, guitarists Liam Fessen and Vitalis Winkelhock, bassist Armin von Heinessen and drummer Rusty Potoplacht.

As expected the band kicks things off with their trademark intro War In, this time showcasing the original of the most famous Serbian song of the Great War period, “Tamo Daleko”, setting the stage for 1914 to crush our senses with FN .380 ACP#19074, with Rusty sounding infernal and ruthless on drums while Liam and Vitalis deliver endless electricity and heaviness through their wicked riffage. What a bestial start to the album, I might say, followed by Vimy Ridge (In Memory of Filip Konowal), offering us all another round of their WWI-inspired doomed lyrics growled by Ditmar (“Things didn’t go down as expected / Hill 145, ill-fated Vimy Ridge. / We are entrenched in mud as wild hogs, my 47th Battalion / A small wooded knoll we called “the Pimple” 2 miles in front of us. / We need to capture the machine gun nests, each was heavily defended”) in a demonic display of Ukrainian Sludge, Death and Doom Metal. Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines) describes the terrible events of the Battle of the Messines Ridge during June 7-14, 1917 in Belgium, one of the most insane episodes of the Great War, while musically speaking you better get ready for another multi-layered wall of sounds spearheaded by Rusty’s venomous blast beats and all the symphonic, cinematic background sounds; and continuing their path of doom and devastation we face Don’t Tread on Me (Harlem Hellfighters), where the sound of the guitars by Liam and Vitalis is phenomenal, not to mention the thunderous bass by Armin, whereas featuring Ukrainian country and folk musician, singer and songwriter Sasha Boole, Coward is very unique and distinct form the rest of the album, with the final result being really entertaining.

…And a Cross Now Marks His Place brings forward an amazing and brutal vocal duet between Ditmar and guest Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost), resulting in a lecture in old school Doom Metal that will inspire you to crack your neck headbanging, followed by Corps d’autos-canons-mitrailleuses (A.C.M), where a wicked intro quickly morphs into a Blackened Doom feast showcasing the band’s trademark warlike words (“Hold the line, Minerva will cover us / The Hotchkiss machine gun poured lead in all directions / Send our messages to all boches – We will avenge for the Belgium! / 16 of us were killed in action, / 16 of us in this Galizian sludge / They called home”). In Mit Gott für König und Vaterland we’re treated to five minutes of obscurity, brutality and fear in the form of ass-kicking Doom and Death Metal led by the demented growls by Ditmar; whereas the sound of bagpipes will penetrate deep inside your mind before 1914 come crushing like a war tank in their version for Eric Bogle’s The Green Fields of France (No Man’s Land), which original version can be appreciated HERE, an impressive rendition where Liam and Vitalis are on absolute fire with their unstoppable riffs, not to mention the song’s demonic, hellish ending, flowing into War Out, putting a climatic and stylish conclusion to their sonic battle.

It’s time to head into the battlefield together with the unstoppable troopers of 1914, and in order to do so you can enjoy the album in full on YouTube and on Spotify, follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for tour dates and other nice-to-know information about them, subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their austere music, and above all that, purchase your favorite version of the stunning Where Fear and Weapons Meet by clicking HERE. This masterpiece is indeed another heavily intense and deep-reaching output that will grant 1914 even higher appreciation than the five-piece is already credited with, and I must say that after such powerful and bold album the band has gone beyond the underground barrier and can now be considered one of the torchbearers of warlike doom worldwide. In other words, the Great War lives on, mainly thanks to the brilliant job done by the best Ukrainian metal band of all time.

Best moments of the album: Vimy Ridge (In Memory of Filip Konowal), Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines), …And a Cross Now Marks His Place and The Green Fields of France (No Man’s Land, Eric Bogle cover).

Worst moments of the album: Absolutely none.

Released in 2021 Napalm Records

Track listing
1. War In 1:11
2. FN .380 ACP#19074 5:54
3. Vimy Ridge (In Memory of Filip Konowal) 5:11
4. Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines) 7:04
5. Don’t Tread on Me (Harlem Hellfighters) 7:54
6. Coward (ft. Sasha Boole) 2:55
7. …And a Cross Now Marks His Place (ft. Nick Holmes) 7:29
8. Corps d’autos-canons-mitrailleuses (A.C.M) 7:54
9. Mit Gott für König und Vaterland 5:18
10. The Green Fields of France (No Man’s Land, Eric Bogle cover) 10:57
11. War Out 1:40

Band members
2.Division, Infanterie-Regiment Nr.147, Oberleutnant – Ditmar Kumarberg – vocals
37.Division, Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr.73, Wachtmiester – Liam Fessen – guitar
5.Division, Ulanen-Regiment Nr.3, Sergeanten – Vitalis Winkelhock – guitar
9.Division, Grenadier-Regiment Nr.7, Unteroffiziere – Armin von Heinessen – bass
33.Division, 7.Thueringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.96, Gefreite – Rusty Potoplacht – drums

Guest musician
Nick Holmes – vocals on “…And a Cross Now Marks His Place”
Sasha Boole – vocals on “Coward”

Album Review – Argesh / Excommunica (2021)

Behold 31 minutes of the most solemn, majestic and uncompromising kind of Black Metal you can think of in the form of the debut album by an unrelenting horde from Italy.

3.5rating

argesh-excommunica-2021We live in a world corrupted by moral dogmas which, unconsciously, influence and create the rotten society in which we find ourselves, a vicious circle of self-destruction and self-castration. Fortunately for all of us metalheads, Varese, Italy-based Black Metal entity Argesh stands against all that, bringing forth now in 2021 their debut full-length opus entitled Excommunica, a stunning display of “Apostate Black Metal” blasted by HHG on the guitars, drums and voice reinforcements, Il Rakshasa on the guitars, and Azghal on bass and orchestrations. Recorded at Downstreet Studios, mixed and engineered by Simone Marzullo (also known as HHG) and Nicolò Paracchini (also known as Azghal), and mastered at Wavemotion Recordings by Federico Ascari, not to mention the more-than-special guests Michele Spallieri (Kenos), Lucifero Fieri (Tregenda), Vama Marga (Depths Above, Bhagavat), Chainerdog (Grendel) and Matteo Gresele (Ad Nauseam), Excommunica is a must-listen for fans of bands the likes of Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir and Deathspell Omega, bringing to our ears 31 minutes of the most solemn, majestic and uncompromising kind of Black Metal.

The opening track, titled Abiura, works as a tribal intro that will put you in a trance, with the guest vocals by Vama Marga making things even more tenebrous and flowing into the visceral Suffocate in Oxygen, a fulminating aria of extreme music where guest Michele Spallieri’s vocals are nicely complemented by the celestial voice of Lucifero Fieri, while HHG, Il Rakshasa and Azghal generate a pulverizing wall of sounds. Put differently, this is what I call a bestial display of Blackened Death Metal by such talented horde, and HHG and Il Rakshasa continue to extract sheer malignancy from their guitars in Source of Miracles accompanied by the thunderous bass by Azghal, while Michele keeps growling like a demonic entity and also featuring a kick-ass guitar solo by guest Matteo Gresele.

And HHG once again sounds infernal with his blast beats in the beyond fantastic Praelatorum Pedophilia, another austere, sulfurous creation by the trio showcasing slashing riffs and rumbling bass lines, therefore living up to the legacy of both old school and modern-day Black Metal; whereas in Apocalypse 20.7-8-9 a Cradle of Filth-inspired ambience becomes even more imposing thanks to the amazing job done by HHG on drums and all background orchestrations by Azghal. Furthermore, Michele proves once again why he was chosen to record most of the vocals for the album with his vicious roars adding an extra touch of evil to the overall result. And last but not least, closing the album we’re treated to the multi-layered, bold and Stygian tune The Elohim’s Mark, featuring guest vocals and guitar solo by Chainerdog, and reminding me of some of the best creations by Dimmu Borgir. Needless to say, HHG and Il Rakshasa are relentless with their wicked riffage, ending the album on a truly sulfurous note for our total delight.

argesh-2021“Excommunica wants to point out how much can be spiritually self-sabotaging being born and grown in a religious context bare of awareness and consciousness. Its concept is based on disrupting these restrictions in order to find the human need to evolve and become something different from the herd, expressing the harsh hate against the hypocrisy which this moral society proves to be with its values. We’re all suffocating in this oxygen ruled by corrupted divine idols,” commented this talented Italian horde about their newborn spawn, and if you want to show them your utmost support and admiration you can start following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course purchase Excommunica from their own BandCamp page, letting the world we live in rot in chaos and darkness while you enjoy their undisputed Black Metal.

Best moments of the album: Praelatorum Pedophilia and Apocalypse 20.7-8-9.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Nero Corvino Records/Sepulchral Silence Digital Music Distribution

Track listing 
1. Abiura 2:11
2. Suffocate in Oxygen 4:04
3. Source of Miracles 6:30
4. Praelatorum Pedophilia 5:51
5. Apocalypse 20.7-8-9 5:05
6. The Elohim’s Mark 7:13

Band members
HHG – guitars, drums, voice reinforcements
Il Rakshasa – guitars
Azghal – bass, orchestrations

Guest musicians
Michele Spallieri – vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen”, “Source of Miracles”, “Praelatorum Pedophilia” and “Apocalypse 20.7-8-9”
Lucifero Fieri – celestial vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen” and “The Elohim’s Mark”
Vama Marga – vocals on “Abiura” and “Apocalypse 20.7-8-9”
Chainerdog – vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen” and “The Elohim’s Mark”, guitar solo on “The Elohim’s Mark”
Matteo Gresele – guitar solo on “Source of Miracles”

Album Review – Sarmat / RS-28 (2021)

Behold the debut album by this Polish brigade, offering us all a mixture of Death and Black Metal split into eight visceral tracks about destruction, military industry and human fears and obsessions.

3.5rating

sarmat-rs-28-2021Having their name taken from “The Weapon of Ultimate Destruction”, the Russian super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) RS-28 SARMAT (also known as SATAN 2), Poland’s own Black/Death Metal brigade Sarmat has just unleashed upon humanity their debut full-length opus, titled RS-28, a lesson in violence by Łukasz Kobusiński on vocals, Daniel Szymanowicz on guitars, bass, keyboards and VST instruments, and Krzysztof “Kopyś” Kopczeński also on the guitars, supported by session drummer Krzysztof Klingbein. Engineered, mixed and mastered at Santa Studio by Arkadiusz “Malta” Malczewski and displaying a sinister artwork by Lord K., RS-28 offers a mixture of Death and Black Metal split into eight visceral tracks about destruction, military industry and human fears and obsessions, being highly recommended for admirers of the savagery blasted by renowned bands like Sarmat’s countrymen Behemoth.

A Black Metal onrush will smash you like an insect from the very first second in Coldgrinder, with Daniel and Kopyś, accompanied by Krzysztof, hammer their sonic weapons mercilessly, all spiced up by Łukasz’s demonic, deep guttural roars. Then a beyond sulfurous intro morphs into sheer adrenaline and violence in Evilution, inviting us all to bang our heads in the name of evil, with Krzysztof once again showcasing his heavy artillery behind his drums while Łukasz keeps vociferating the song’s wicked words like a true beast (“Confronting with the evil-ution / Controlling the creature’s instinct / Ceremonial madness in psychotic eyes / The sentence for all cold life”); and the band explodes our senses with the infernal The Shining of Oneiros, a bestial display of Blackened Death Metal spearheaded by the inhumane growling by Łukasz. Then we have the title-track RS-28, darker and more doomed than its predecessors, with Daniel and Kopyś being on absolute fire with their axes delivering a malevolent riffage that lives up to the legacy of classic Death Metal.

Another grim, melancholic start quickly explodes into pulverizing Black and Death Metal in Seeds of Uncertainty, where Krzysztof proves once again why he was chosen as the session drummer for the album while Łukasz keeps growling to the wicked riffs by the band’s guitar duo; whereas the warlike lyrics darkly roared by Łukasz (“Revolt / You don’t live in my war / Pain makes me stronger everyday / Life is war, not illusion”) set the tone in the Doom Metal-infused tune You Don’t Live in My War, where the bass lines by Daniel sound utterly thunderous from start to finish. Following such demented tune we have Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I, just as pulverizing as the rest of the album, bringing to our ears first-class Polish Blackened Death Metal where the sound of the guitars will pierce your minds without a single drop of mercy, flowing into the hellish and obscure Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part II, ending the album on a Stygian note to the devilish growls by Łukasz, always supported by the band’s unstoppable riffs and blast beats.

sarmat-2021Sarmat’s insane display of Blackened Death Metal can be better appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to join their metallic brigade you should definitely purchase a copy of RS-28 from their own BandCamp page, from allegrolokalnie.pl, from Selfmadegodrecords, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs, and don’t forget to also follow such promising band on Facebook and on Instagram and to subscribe to their YouTube channel. Sarmat have certainly crafted their own “weapon of ultimate destruction” with RS-28, a kick-ass album that proves once again that the fusion of extreme music and war will always bring a positive outcome to us metalheads from all over the world.

Best moments of the album: Evilution, The Shining of Oneiros and Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I.

Worst moments of the album: You Don’t Live in My War.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing 
1. Coldgrinder 3:19
2. Evilution 5:45
3. The Shining of Oneiros 4:11
4. RS-28 3:51
5. Seeds of Uncertainty 3:36
6. You Don’t Live in My War 5:38
7. Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I 3:32
8. Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part II 3:41

Band members
Łukasz Kobusiński – vocals
Daniel Szymanowicz – guitars, bass, keyboards, VST instruments
Krzysztof “Kopyś” Kopczeński – guitars

Guest musician
Krzysztof Klingbein – drums (session)

Album Review – Unflesh / Inhumation (2021)

A lecture in Blackened and Melodic Death Metal made in the United States, delving into the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or humanity.

4.0rating

unflesh-inhumation-2021Showcasing an incredible amount of new growth from a group already brimming with abundant talent as is, Inhumation, the brand new opus by Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based three-piece Blackened Melodic Death Metal entity Unflesh, is not only the perfect follow-up to their 2018 album Savior, but also a bold statement by the band confirming they’re among us to stay. Mixed and Mastered by V. Santura at Woodshed Studios and featuring a killer artwork by Junki Sakuraba, Inhumation will show you why vocalist and guitarist Ryan Beevers (Solium Fatalis), bassist Orin Hubbard (Excrecor) and drummer Jeff Saltzman (Aversed, Allegaeon, Continuum, Solium Fatalis) have everything it takes to conquer the world of extreme music with their wicked creations. “Inhumation delves into the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or losing one’s humanity so to speak. The title itself is used in a metaphorical sense, as the actual definition of the word ‘Inhumation’ is the action or practice of burying the dead. For album purposes, the title is used on a more spiritual and emotional level. Each track on the album is a bit of a meditation on different aspects of the primary concept. When the listener gets to the last song on the album, the totality of the album will have taken form,” commented Ryan about the band’s newborn spawn.

The acoustic guitars by Ryan ignite the intro Behold Nightfall, gradually growing in intensity until all hell breaks loose in the devastating Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers, where Ryan vociferates the song’s devilish words manically (“Spawned from scales of iron / Demonic icon of fear / Bathing in the draining blood / From the steel / Emotionless / Orchestrating blasphemies / Of hundreds and thousands / Their putrefaction is my crest”) accompanied by the crushing drums by Jeff. To Renounce Flesh and Blood is another demonic and very technical creation by Unflesh blending the fury of Death Metal with the obscurity of Black Metal, not to mention Orin’s bass jabs will make your head tremble, followed by the title-track Inhumation, bringing to your ears over seven minutes of breathtaking riffs and bass punches, intricate beats and all of the elements that make Technical Death Metal so compelling. In addition, Jeff sounds truly bestial behind his drum set, while Ryan keeps roaring like a demonic entity from start to finish.

Unflesh keep decimating our senses in the hellish extravaganza titled Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell, displaying an amazing job done by Ryan with his visceral Black Metal riffage and growling, therefore adding an extra touch of malignancy to the overall result, whereas putting the pedal to the metal the trio brings forward the explosive Blackened Death Metal tune Holocaust of Stars, where Orin and Jeff are on fire with their thunderous kitchen generating a reverberating ambience that will ruthlessly smash your cranial skull; and featuring a sick guitar solo by guest Jim Gregory (Solium Fatalis), The Sepulchral Depths is just as violent and sulfurous as its predecessors, offering us fans an ass-kicking portrait of the band’s trademark hybrid of Blackened and Melodic Death Metal. Not only that, Jeff is once again a stone crusher on drums, taking the lead with his blast beats and fills for our total delight. And last but not least, Unflesh bring forth nine minutes of sonic savagery, acoustic and atmospheric passages, enraged roars and endless obscurity in the form of Dehumanized Legion, where the trio is unstoppable and vile throughout the entire song, putting a beyond demolishing end to this precious gem of Extreme Metal.

unflesh-2021After all is said and done, I’m sure you’re more than eager to put your hands on Inhumation, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, and in order to do that simply go to the band’s own BandCamp page, to Apple Music or to Amazon, and don’t forget to also show your support to such promising act by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel. Ryan and his henchmen Orin and Jeff did a superb job in Inhumation, beautifully translating into eight multi-layered, dense Blackened and Melodic Death Metal compositions exactly what Ryan mentioned as “the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or losing one’s humanity.” This is exactly how dark and extreme music should always sound, with the band’s new album being a strong contender to feature among the best albums of the year, consequently pointing to a brilliant future ahead of those multi-talented musicians.

Best moments of the album: Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers, Inhumation and Holocaust of Stars.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Behold Nightfall 2:21
2. Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers 5:21
3. To Renounce Flesh and Blood 5:26
4. Inhumation 7:20
5. Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell 6:37
6. Holocaust of Stars 4:42
7. The Sepulchral Depths 5:27
8. Dehumanized Legion 9:01

Band members
Ryan Beevers – vocals, guitars, acoustic guitars, orchestrations
Orin Hubbard – bass
Jeff Saltzman – drums

Guest musician
Jim Gregory – guitar solo on “The Sepulchral Depths”

Album Review – Demon King / The Final Tyranny EP (2021)

This newly formed demonic trio aims to be one of the reigning champs of the Death Metal world with their fulminating and very technical debut EP.

Formed in 2019 in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States, Blackened Death Metal outfit Demon King is the comeback project of prominent original Enfold Darkness guitarist Matt Brown after stepping away from playing music for a number of years, now joined by technical wizards Malcolm Pugh (Inferi, A Loathing Requiem, Entheos) on bass and Jack Blackburn (Inferi, Enfold Darkness, Vital Remains) on drums. Together, this incredibly talented trio aims to be one of the reigning champs of the Death Metal world in the coming years, starting their path of devastation with their debut EP titled The Final Tyranny. Mixed by Zack Ohren at Castle Ultimate Productions, mastered by Justin Shturtz at Sterling Sound, and displaying an infernal artwork by renowned artist Justin Abraham, The Final Tyranny is strongly recommended for fans of Abigor, Arsis, Dimmu Borgir, Naglfar, Necrophagist and Old Man’s Child, among many others, providing the listener 17 minutes of undisputed dexterity, violence and rage.

We must admit Blackened Death Metal always brings us amazing, poetic lyrics, which is exactly the case in the opening track Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver (“For ages the world did hold the coming of one / Which would usher in the era of din / And the chieftains they called upon disorder as order / Their ally for the clasp within / Multitudes surrender to him as their god”), while Jack sounds like a stone crusher from hell on drums and Malcolm hammers his metallic bass nonstop, resulting in an explosion of sounds that’s as technical and infernal as it can be. Then a sinister intro will darken the skies before the trio comes ripping with their hard-hittingTechnical Death Metal in Invoking the Spirit of Chaos, where Matt not only roars like a demonic entity, but his hellish riffage adds an extra touch of dementia to the music; and it’s time for more lunacy in the form of Technical and Blackened Death Metal in Transmutation of the Artilect, with Malcolm and Jack being absolutely thunderous and menacing with their beats and bass jabs while Matt continues to gnarl and scream rabidly in a perfect fusion of intricacy and heaviness. Lastly, even more obscure than its predecessors, The Watcher, Wreathed In Flame is a ruthless display of modern-day aggressiveness and fury, with the demonic drums by Jack being beautifully supported by the demented strings by both Matt and Malcolm, not to mention how piercing Matt’s guitar solos sound and feel.

This short and sweet display of unrelenting Blackened Death Metal by Demon King is available for purchase by clicking HERE, or from other retailers such as Amazon and Record Store Day. Also, don’t forget to follow those insane metallers on Facebook and on Instagram, and to stream their sick creations on Spotify, showing your utmost support to this newborn force of the extreme music scene. Across its four dense tracks, The Final Tyranny deftly combines and shifts on a dime between Technical Death Metal, Black Metal, and Melodic Death Metal in order to create a sound of their own, also pointing to a very interesting future ahead of the trio and, therefore, inspiring fans of Death Metal from all over the world to keep slamming into the circle pit while Matt, Malcolm and Jack show us exactly what to do when armed with their sharp instruments and their blackened hearts and souls.

Best moments of the album: Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver and Transmutation of the Artilect.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 The Artisan Era Records

Track listing
1. Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver 3:51
2. Invoking the Spirit of Chaos 4:16
3. Transmutation of the Artilect 4:31
4. The Watcher, Wreathed In Flame 5:04

Band members
Matt Brown – vocals, guitars
Malcolm Pugh – bass
Jack Blackburn – drums

Album Review – Booze Serpent / Slices Of Death (2021)

Turkey’s own Death Metal one-man army is ready to strike his venom once again through his first full-length opus, featuring nine original tracks of sick, alcohol-fueled terror.

Hailing from the dark pits of Antalya, a gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region, Death Metal one-man army Booze Serpent was formed back in 2019 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Serpent as an ode to 1980’s horror B-movies and H.P. Lovecraft novels, having already released in 2020 the project’s five-track debut EP Drünkard. After less than one year, Serpent returns in full force with his first full-length effort, the sick, alcohol-fueled terror party entitled Slices Of Death, offering us fans a high dosage of old school Death Metal with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements. Mixed and mastered by Polish musician Mikołaj Krzaczek (Thamnos Records), displaying a classic artwork by Death Rattle, and featuring an array of guest musicians such as Cezary Borawski on drums and Burak Ulugüney (of Minus Life) on keys, Slices Of Death was recorded entirely live, with no drum machines nor midi used in the recordings, giving it a more organic, honest and, therefore, violent feel throughout its nine inebriate and visceral tracks of groovy death.

An ominous, atmospheric intro ignites Booze Serpent’s evil brewing machine, morphing into the venomous Dead Fak, where Serpent blends a high dosage of Black, Death and Thrash Metal in his infernal riffs and screams; whereas Turkey’s own one-man horde gets the support of guitarist Gavin Brooks with a sick solo in Man-Eating Plant, while Cezary keeps hammering his drums nonstop, leaning towards contemporary Blackened Death Metal. Then guest drummer Jeremiasz Baum (of The Materia) lends his violence to Booze Serpent in Motel Hell, another short and sweet homage to darkness and drinking where the deep gnarls by Serpent will haunt your soul during your sleep, also presenting the trademark futuristic keys by Burak. And Serpent keeps slashing his guitar and bass in the straight-to-the-point, headbanging tune They Live We Drink!, another heavy and unfriendly creation showcasing the most visceral elements from Black and Death Metal, featuring a guest guitar solo by Gavin Brooks.

Venturing through the realms of Deathslam and Brutal Death Metal, Serpent fires the sick and vile The Beast (Pumpkinhead), blasting sheer rage through his demented riffs and growls, and all spiced up of course by the pounding beats by Cezary. Then uniting the obscurity of Black Metal with the bloodthirsty sounds of Death Metal we’re treated to The Animal, showcasing a bestial guest guitar solo by Croc (of Axxen Conners), resulting in the perfect tune for cracking our necks headbanging to the sound of Serpent’s hellish roars, while guest drummer Charlie Nicholson (of Psychosexual) brings his share of dementia to the short and pulverizing Live Brains!, a tribute to zombie flicks from the 80’s where Serpent sounds even more demonic than before on vocals, not to mention his infernal bass jabs and cutting riffs. The epic and imposing keys by Burak make the final result even more Stygian in Resurrected In Chapman Labs, where the cryptic lyrics barked by Serpent are complemented by his own razor-edged guitars and low-tuned bass, flowing into the atmospheric outro Slices Of Death, where grim piano notes permeate the air in the best Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir-inspired style.

Dedicated to Serpent’s dearest friend Onur Soyulmaz, who sadly passed away in 2018, Slices Of Death is indeed a fantastic display of underground extreme music made in Turkey, bringing to our ears endless amounts of fury, electricity, heaviness and acidity, which obviously translates into awesomeness after all is sad and done. Hence, don’t forget to show your utmost support to such skillful Turkish metaller by following his project on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course by grabbing your sulfurous, alcohol-infused copy of Slices Of Death directly from Booze Serpent’s own BandCamp page, raising your glass high in the sky in the name of horror movies and Death Metal, and getting absolutely drunk to the sound of Serpent’s venomous compositions on a dark and bitterly cold winter night.

Best moments of the album: Man-Eating Plant, The Beast (Pumpkinhead) and Live Brains!

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Plague Demon Records

Track listing
1. Intro/Dead Fak 4:19
2. Man-Eating Plant 3:04
3. Motel Hell 2:58
4. They Live We Drink! 2:50
5. The Beast (Pumpkinhead) 2:16
6. The Animal 3:18
7. Live Brains! 2:14
8. Resurrected In Chapman Labs 3:00
9. Slices Of Death 2:28

Band members
Serpent – vocals, guitar, bass

Guest musicians
Burak Ulugüney – intro, keys
Gavin Brooks – lead guitar on “Man-Eating Plant” and “They Live We Drink!”
Croc – lead guitar on “The Animal”
Cezary Borawski – drums on “Intro/Dead Fak”, “Man-Eating Plant”, “They Live We Drink!”, “The Beast (Pumpkinhead)”, “The Animal” and “Resurrected In Chapman Labs”
Jeremiasz Baum – drums on “Motel Hell”
Charlie Nicholson – drums on “Live Brains!”

Album Review – Hell-Born / Natas Liah (2021)

After 12 years, one of Poland’s most devilish Black and Death Metal hordes returns with a brand new opus that darkly represents everything they have always been and more.

When some bands return from long years of silence, they unfortunately bring disappointment and a tarnishing of their reputation with them, while others bring a glorious shattering of the silence, a fulfilling of hopes and surpassing of expectations in mighty and imperious fashion, which is exactly the case with Sopot, Poland’s own Black/Death Metal veterans Hell-Born. Disciples of their devil’s work can rejoice, as these Polish masters of Black, Death and Thrash Metal have never sounded more accomplished and powerful than in their newborn opus Natas Liah, a towering edifice of darkness and extreme music brought into being by vocalist and bassist Baal Ravenlock (Behemoth’s co-founder), guitarist Les (also a former musician of Behemoth) and drummer Diabolizer over 12 years after the release of their previous effort Darkness. Recorded at Creme de la Creme Studio and mixed and mastered by Haldor Grunberg (known for his collaboration with Behemoth and Blaze Of Perdition) at Satanic Audio, Natas Liah is everything that Hell-Born have always been and more, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the devilish music blasted by Venom, Vader, Behemoth and Sodom, among many others.

A brief spoken intro explodes into a bestial feast of Black and Death Metal in When You Are God, where its solid instrumental pieces are spiced up by Baal’s deep guttural vocals. Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded rawer nor more devilish than what it already is, kicking off the album ruthlessly. Then even more infernal than the opening tune, Axis of Decay brings to our ears classic Black Metal infused with Death Metal elements, with Diabolizer sounding truly menacing with his blast beats accompanied by Les’ evil riffage, resulting in a song perfect for darkening our thoughts and souls for all eternity, followed by Ye Olde Woods Devil, presenting a mid-tempo, headbanging sonority masterfully crafted by the trio where the drums by Diabolizer and the bass punches by Baal will undoubtedly make your head tremble, sounding and feeling very rhythmic and at the same time primeval from start to finish. And featuring a guitar solo by guest Jacek Langowski (from Holy Smoke), Uroboros is another vicious devastation by Hell-Born showcasing Diabolizer’s spot-on drums and the always venomous riffs by Les, living up to the legacy of Polish extreme music.

After such bestial attack, guest Jacek “Jeff” Kubiak (from Damnation) provides a strident guitar solo in The Butcher, offering us all more of their incendiary fusion of Black, Death and Thrash Metal, with Baal sounding even more infuriated than before with his gruesome gnarls. Baal’s rumbling bass and Diabolizer’s pounding drums keep hammering our heads in Son of Earth, with Les bringing a humongous dosage of darkness to the music with his fiery guitar, and there’s no sign of slowing down for those Polish metallers as they keep darkening the skies with their furious music in In God’s Death, where the classic riffs by Les are boosted by the melodic but at the same time violent drumming by Diabolizer. Putting the pedal to the metal, the band explodes our senses with the Stygian and straightforward Soulrape, showcasing their usual dementia and obscurity led by the always demonic growling by Baal, before all hell breaks loose in the infernal closing tune Blakk Metal, featuring guest vocals by Behemoth’s one and only mastermind Adam “Nergal” Darski. Not only the background keys bring an additional touch of evil to the overall result, but Nergal’s trademark roars make it even more thrilling, turning it into what’s by far my favorite of all songs, or in other words, a lesson in modern-day Blackened Death Metal.

As already mentioned, Natas Liah might be Hell-Born’s most demolishing and obscure album in their solid career since the band’s inception in the distant year of 1996, proving some bands definitely know how to make an impactful and meaningful comeback form the pits of the underworld. Hence, don’t forget to follow those veterans from hell on Facebook, and to support them in their quest for extreme music by purchasing their sulfurous new album from their own BandCamp page or from the Odium Records’ webstore as a 6-panel digipack CD with a 16-page booklet or as a deluxe wooden box edition limited to 40 copies containing a vinyl version of the album, the 6-panel digipack CD with a 16-page booklet, a t-shirt, a patch, a button and a sticker. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to grab your copy of such insane album? Go for it, raise your horns and… HAIL SATAN!

Best moments of the album: Axis of Decay, The Butcher and Blakk Metal.

Worst moments of the album: Son of Earth.

Released in 2021 Odium Records

Track listing
1. When You Are God 4:59
2. Axis of Decay 4:50
3. Ye Olde Woods Devil 5:31
4. Uroboros 6:01
5. The Butcher 5:39
6. Son of Earth 4:52
7. In God’s Death 5:31
8. Soulrape 3:05
9. Blakk Metal 4:46

Band members
Baal Ravenlock – vocals, bass
Les – guitars
Diabolizer – drums

Guest musicians
Nergal – vocals on “Blakk Metal”
Jacek Langowski – lead guitars on “Uroboros”
Jeff – lead guitars on “The Butcher”